Walking along the icy trail among towering, snow-covered cedars, I notice the drifting flakes and wonder at the stillness. I breath in the beauty of the weather and am reminded of the rhythmic nature of the seasons, with it’s variation in temperature, precipitation, stillness, and storms. I am struck by how this rings true for both the external world as well as for our internal experience.
Often we ask and are asked the simple questions, “How are you?” or “How do you feel?” More often than not, we respond with simple answers like “good” or “fine” (even when “good” and “fine” don’t encompass the complexity and nuances that we feel). When we receive these responses in session, we ask our clients to add adjectives and descriptions to help us (and to help them) get a better sense of what and how they are really feeling.
How, you may wonder, does an expanded description of how we are feeling lead to greater self understanding? Why not stop at “good”, “fine”, “anxious”, “depressed”…? How do we become more specific with our descriptions? And what does weather have to do with it?
How we use the Mobile Mama Trackers to help you track your moods
As we were redesigning and preparing the Mobile Mama Journal and the Mobile Mama Trackers for 2022, we took a step back to examine every section. For simplicity’s sake, we asked participants to get a sense of “how they were feeling” each day and color that day with a consistent key: for example, yellow to indicate neutral, orange for anxious, green for good, blue for down.
By coloring in the days of each month, in addition to noting one’s self care and moon cycle, we can better understand how our essential self-care and monthly cycles impact our mood and wellbeing. While the essence of this is valuable, and the color coding is helpful, we decided to expand on the coding to develop even more insight and complexity on our moods.
Why use the weather to capture your moods…
When we consider how we feel in any moment and throughout a full day, many shades and components contribute to the broad description. So how do we explore how we feel in a new way?
Enter “The Daily Weather Report”! As part of the daily journal pages in the Mobile Mama Journal/Tracker, and as part of our sessions, we introduce the idea of using weather patterns as metaphors to help shed light on our own feelings and experiences.
For example, some weather descriptions you may be feeling include, but are not limited to:
- Chilly and gusty with sun breaks
- Storm clouds are moving in and moving out, thunderstorms are brewing, I can feel the electricity…
- Bluebird day, clear and crisp
- Snowy, quiet, and subdued
- Soft rain, steadily falling, predicted to clear soon
These weather metaphors give us more of a color palette with which to work to describe our emotional landscape. Once we get a more descriptive sense of how we are feeling, we can dive into the components of how and why this is the case…We can examine how our essential self-care (food, water, sleep, exercise and support), as well as our moon and mood cycles, adhere to the “weather patterns”. By recognizing our needs and adjusting our care, we can impact our moods and systems.
What can we learn from the weather?
Interestingly, when we peruse weather radar on the weather channel or an app, and zoom out from our individual locations, we see how local weather systems are connected to regional systems, which in turn are connected to the wider global weather patterns. Similarly, our unique weather patterns are affected by and related to those around us – partners, children, family, friends. Deepening our understanding of our own weather patterns and contributing factors can help to anticipate how our weather systems relate to each other.
So, over this next month and even all year long, take some of your morning time, or the moments before sleep, to journal and/or consider your “Daily Weather Report” in response to the mundane inquiry of “How do I feel?”. Be playful and descriptive. Look to the sky to identify what might be happening for your own inner landscape. Notice and document your weather patterns through the day, week, month, and season. Pay attention to what contributes to the weather systems moving in and moving out.
Now grab a sticky note and jot down this Sound Bite:
“What is my Daily Weather Report”
and stick it on your journal or beside your bed as a reminder to expand your responses and to explore your own complexity experience.